Going to spend your vacation in the UAE in 2015? Have you already decided what city is worth visiting first of all? Most people are eager to see wonders of Dubai, but still there is another great city often forgotten by many tourists.
This article should help you to get your own answer to the question of what city of the UAE (Dubai or Sharjah) will better suit your kind of vacation. So straight to the point! What are differences and the main features of Dubai and Sharjah?
Dubai is best place for shopping
Without exaggeration, you can buy everything in giant shopping centers and authentic bazaars of Dubai! The widest range of perfumes and cosmetic products, clothing by leading fashion designers, innovative gadgets and of course just unbelievably huge selection of jewelry made of precious metals!
The main reason for such rich diversity of goods of all kinds is the low import tax of only 4%. So be prepared for rather affordable prices. Shopping in Dubai is the pure pleasure! There are a lot of modern and enormously large shopping centers, where you can spend the whole days enjoying restaurants and cafes, cinemas and pools, gyms and beauty salons, tropical gardens and even a real ski resort!
So summarizing, Sharjah has less quantity of malls and leisure centers than Dubai, but it has also many interesting things to offer its visitors!
Sharjah is the best place for beach holiday
Since most hotels of Sharjah are located right near the beach, the city will perfectly suit tourists with kids who want to spend more time sunbathing or enjoying swimming in clear and safe waters.
By the way, on different forums and blogs, you can read a lot of conflicting opinions and comments about what you should wear in the UAE.
Let’s clarify this issue. The UAE is a Muslim country and it has its own specific lows and rules of behavior in society, in addition, Sharjah is the most stringent Emirate. Here it’s not recommended to appear in public places with bared shoulders, in mini-skirts or short shorts. Of course, nobody will put you in prison, but when wearing improper clothing you’ll only experience condemning glances of Arab women and excessive attention of men.
But you should remember that you aren’t allowed to visit public beaches wearing only bathing suits. If you want to freely enjoy sunbathing then stay within the limits of your hotel’s beach. From the other hand, Dubai has also a lot of beautiful beaches with clean white sand. Besides, there are no such severe morals as in Sharjah and you can freely enjoy visiting public beaches in open bathing suit. But in most cases, the most affordable hotels of Dubai are located in some distance from the beaches, so you’ll need to use public transport every time you want to swim. And it’s pretty tiresome, we must say.
It wouldn’t be fair not to mention that the qualitative beach holiday can be also arranged in Dubai, but only in case you can afford to spend minimum 1000 USD per one person per week for apartment in a hotel located right at the beach.
Dubai will better suit young people
Although it might seems Sharjah smoothly flows into Dubai and there is now much difference between the cities, Dubai is like a large amusement and shopping center, when Sharjah is considered cultural capital of the country and well-known for its unique museums, galleries and theaters. Besides, there is absolutely no alcohol in Sharjah, which may cause inconveniences for some tourists, especially young people.
Another situation with strong drinks is in Dubai. You can buy it in some special shops (actually it’s really hard to find them), in bars of the hotels or in Duty Free at the airport, which is the easiest and the cheapest way.
When people want to visit some country they have never been to, they usually start tedious search of proper hotel, asking friends about their experience, reading a lot of negative and positive reviews of tourists. In fact, it’s quite simple to choose the proper resort. Just decide what type of holiday you want and how you plan to spend your vacation.
Choose Sharjah if you:
– Have limited budget
– Want to spent most of free time on the beach
– Going to take kids with you
– Can spent week or two without drinking alcohol
Choose Dubai if you:
– Focused on shopping and entertainments
– Can’t imagine holiday without a mug of beer
– Simply want to see all wonders of Dubai such as Burj Khalifa, the famous singing fountain etc.
Want to combine sunbathing and swimming with the qualitative shopping? Then choose Sharjah! The point is there are only 30 km between these two remarkable cities!
A little bit about transportation or how to get from one city to another?
Since the cities are located quite close to each other, it’s not a big problem to visit Dubai while renting apartments in Sharjah. Actually there are three different ways:
It’s the cheapest and along with it the least comfortable way of transportation between Dubai and Sharjah. It will cost you maximum 2-3 USD, but notice the whole 30 minutes of your little bus trip (not counting time spent in traffic jams) will be spent among company of Indians and Pakistanis arrived to the United Arab Emirates in search of work.
It is safer, more reliable and comfortable to take a taxi. But it costs more money and most cabdrivers aren’t very eager to drive to Sharjah in the evenings, because of the large and frequent traffic jams.
3) rental car
Image by Ron Simmerman via Flickr
Without any doubt car rental is the most comfortable way of discovering both Dubai and Sharjah! You don’t depend on anyone! You are free to drive wherever and whenever you want! And prices are quite low! Don’t believe? You can always check actually price at Sharjah Airport.
Lily Berns is a real adventurer who travels all over the world. She likes to share her experience and recommendations with other travelers.